By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Fifteen business leaders and ministers have started a monthly lunch geared at encouraging Christian business leaders to talk about their faith.
Mitch Waycaster of Renasant Bank and Mike Clayborne of CREATE are spearheading The Fellowship of Christian Business Leaders.
The two men met Tuesday with the Greater Tupelo Ministerial Association to talk about their plans and gain support.
“It’s tough sometimes balancing the success of business and the responsibilities to family and the responsibilities to faith,” Clayborne said.
The initiative is modeled after an organization Waycaster experienced in Japan: VIP International.
“It stands for Very Important Person in God’s eyes,” Waycaster said.
VIP members meet once a month for lunch to talk about business and their faith.
The Fellowship will do the same thing, plus it will feature guest speakers.
“We’re going to start simple and keep it simple,” Waycaster said. “This is meant to complement everything we’re all doing. This is not to replace anything.”
The group won’t raise money and it won’t do service projects, the men said. It also is open to all Christian denominations, races and genders.
“I think it is so important that as a business leader, people know where I stand with the Lord,” said Zell Long, who serves on the group’s steering committee.
Added Trentice Imbler, who also is on the steering committee, “This is long overdue in our community and in our country. It’s time we all step up and say, ‘This is who we are and what we stand for.’”
The group will meet the fourth Thursday of the month at noon at The Summit. Lunch is $15 at the door. Reservations are required by the Monday before the meeting via (662) 844-8989 or maryalice@createfoundation.
The first lunch is March 22 with speaker Mickey Holliman, the former CEO of Furniture Brands International.
The Fellowship of Christian Business Leaders will have nine monthly lunch meetings each year. The one-hour meetings start at the Summit at noon. Lunch is $15 at the door.
Schedule of speakers so far:
March 22: Mickey Holliman, former CEO of Furniture Brands International
April 26: Jim Johnson, sheriff of Lee County
May 24: Dolphus Weary, president of R.E.A.L Christian Foundation Christian business leaders to meet monthly